Trans4mind Home Page

Should You Take Ritalin?

By Jeannine Virtue

At least 3.3 million Americans currently take medications to ease the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder. The majority of these medications are amphetamine-based stimulants. The doctors prescribe these drugs, but that does not mean they are necessarily safe, says the Federal Drug Administration which is currently looking at placing strong warnings on stimulant ADD medications like Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta. An FDA advisory panel voted in February to recommend that all stimulant ADHD drugs carry a "black box" warning - the strongest possible safety warning - to indicate that the drugs may increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and sudden death.

Black box warnings are intended to alert physicians and patients that a drug may carry significant risks. The FDA advisory panel ruled on this black box warning after reviewing data concerning death and other negative heart problems associated with stimulant drug medication use. Although data varies between reporting agencies, 25 to 51 deaths have been attributed to ADHD medication use. Experts estimate that less than 10 percent of serious drug reactions are reported to the FDA, so the deaths and serious adverse effects are undoubtedly much higher.

Of the reported deaths studied by the advisory panel, 19 were children. Other reports described 54 cases of high blood pressure, chest pain, heart attacks, strokes, irregular heart beats and fainting. The number of arrhythmia has been surprising. It is believed to be the pathway for the sudden, unexplained deaths. And because adults have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke to begin with, any increase in risk caused by these drugs could affect a large number of people. One committee member stated that not disclosing the risks associated with taking these drugs is unethical. Because of the gravity of the side effects, namely sudden death, physicians need to be clearly aware of the serious side effects before prescribing these drugs to their patients. The panel, while expressing concern about the over prescribing of ADHD medications, stated that they want physicians to pause before writing prescriptions for stimulant medications. The FDA advisory committee also unanimously recommended that the FDA include medication guides with all stimulant ADHD drugs warning about the risks.

FDA is not required to follow recommendations given by the advisory committee, though the FDA usually does follow recommendations. The FDA awaits advice from its pediatric panel in March before reaching a decision. The FDA plans to refer the issue to another advisory panel that deals with psychological problems in children. Additionally, the FDA is planning a new study of ADHD drugs that will take approximately 18 months to complete. Some are adamant that the FDA should not wait for the results of this study. The FDA has been criticized in the past for being slow to respond to evidence of health risks associated with such things as drugs, including painkillers and antidepressants.

At least two million children and one million adults take prescription ADHD medication every month. Opponents of this black box warning - the strongest warning in the industry - say that they"ve found less than one death or injury for every 1 million prescription filled. It is true that the number of deaths caused by ADHD medications make up an incredibly small percent of people using the drug. However, if that one death is someone you love, that fact is little consolation.

One thought is that a black box warning will help the out of control rate in which doctors prescribe ADHD drugs. Many experts believe stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin are being over prescribed, especially to adults, and the public and doctors are largely unaware of the potential risks. They say the chemical structure of stimulants were structurally similar to drugs like ephedrine, that have proven cardiovascular risks. Besides the 25-51 deaths reported between 1999 and 2003, the council also discovered there were 54 cases of cardiovascular problems, which included heart attacks, strokes, and hypertension.

If you or someone you love is currently taking a stimulant ADHD medication for Attention Deficit Disorder, you might want to consider alternatives to ADHD medications. These alternatives can include diet modification, exercise regimes, family therapy, biofeedback and other alternatives that show promise in easing the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder.

About The Author
Jeannine Virtue is a freelance writer who focuses on health related issues.

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

View all the Hypnosis Downloads here

The New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2018 Trans4mind Ltd